"Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have - but I have it" - Lacan and Mulvey's lens
Mulvey explores how cinema or female representation in the media fulfills a "scopophilic criteria" for the active male gaze (Mulvey 4). From that lens, we see how in a globalized world, Mulvey's analysis of women's representation in the media is mainly about making women passive subjects for the desires of men. Lana Del Rey can categorically be seen as one of the many women that tailor their music to the male gaze. However, they are able to preserve their autonomy and agency by critiquing what the model woxen should be.
In Lana Del Rey's song "Hope is a dangerous thing for women like me to have, but I have it" - we see how she asserts:
"Maybe I'd get less stressed if I was tested less like
All of these debutantes
Smiling for miles in pink dresses and high heels on white yachts."
She strikingly challenges the unfair expectations of the male gaze, where women often must be primed up in dresses fulfilling their "passive" roles ordained in the patriarchy.
Lacan's analysis of the formation of the ego in relation to the mirror is pivotal here because it demonstrates how media becomes this new imaginary of the "production of ego ideals" (Mulvey 4,5). Conversely, Mulvey uses Lacan's analysis to demonstrate how cinema (or more broadly any media product like Lana's song) is now used beyond the "materiality of time and space", where its able to create a permanent resonance in audiences (Mulvey 13). This effect historically constituted women being passive subjects. However, now they can be active ones too, as Lana's lyrics reveal to us, giving her hope and materializing it for audiences like us through this "production of ego ideals."